Wai Wai Nu is a former political prisoner and the founder and Executive Director of the Women Peace Network in Myanmar. She spent seven years as a political prisoner in Burma. Since her release from prison in 2012, Nu has dedicated herself to working for democracy and human rights.
Through the Women Peace Network, Nu works to build peace and mutual understanding between Myanmar’s ethnic communities and to empower and advocate for the rights of marginalized women throughout Myanmar, and particularly in Rakhine State. To engage youth in the peacebuilding process to promote democracy education, Nu founded the Yangon Youth Center — a space where young people from diverse backgrounds can come together to learn, share, and explore their ideas and promote leadership in social, political, and peace-building. Nu organised the My Friend Campaign with youth from different communities to promote tolerance and to reduce discrimination among diverse groups. Through her work, she has been recognized as a Champion of Prevention by the United Nation’s Office of the Prevention of Genocide and Responsibility to Protect. In 2014, Nu Co-Founded Justice for Women in Yangon, a legal and advocacy organization that works with victims of gender-based violence and provides pro-bono legal consultation.
Nu is the recipient of N-Peace Awards (2014); Democracy Courage Tributes, World Movement for Democracy (2015); Hillary Rodham Clinton award (2018); Impact Hero (2019). Nu was named as a Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum; among “100 Top Women,” BBC (2014); among 100 inspiring women, Salt Magazine (2016); among 100 World Thinkers, Foreign Policy Magazine (2015); Next Generation Leader, Time Magazine (2017); Women of the Year, Financial Times (2018); One of the 16 Women Fighting For Fairness Asia, Tatler (2020).
Nu received her bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Yangon in Myanmar and her master’s degree in law from the University of Berkeley. She previously served as a visiting scholar with the Human Rights Center at the University of Berkeley.